Laughable folly of Berea elitism.
So you say it’s your dream to work for your hometown Cleveland Browns? How can you too get into that Haslam braintrust, you ask. What path of hard work and real life accomplishment might earn you consideration to join the august team of data scientists whose performance to date is… renowned.
Welp, the good news is that you don’t have to have any specialized football background. And hard work and record of accomplishment is more of a ‘nice to have’ than ‘must have.’
The bad news is that your Kent State cum laude diploma won’t do the trick.
No, you’ll need the sort of connections that can get you placed in a college where only one in twenty are accepted. You or someone who cares a lot for you will need to have about $80,000/year x4 = ~$320,000 in spare cash to fund your pursuit.
Because the surest path to Berea goes through Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Raise your hand if you’ve heard Berea press-conferences stressing the need to develop talent in-house and that teams are not built through free-agency; that free agent signings are tools to get good teams across the finish line and into playoff contention. I mean, ok, makes sense, in fact I agree with the premise.
So how is it that four Browns-drafted FAs — Mack (seven years, first round), Schwartz (4, 2nd), Gipson (3, undrafted), Benjamin (4, 4th) — comprising 18 years of continuity are allowed to leave in the last week. And this is on the heels of last year when we let — Sheard (four years, second round), Skrine 4, 5th), Cameron (4, 4th), Winn (3, 6th), and Rubin (7, 6th) — 22 years of Browns continuity and five draft picks move to enhance other teams in the league.
THAT’S NINE HOMEGROWN NFL STARTERS ALLOW TO LEAVE IN TWO YEARS. Eight draft picked developed and discarded. Lost is 40 years of aggregate “Play Like A Brown” lockerroom éminence grise.
Seems like a Harvard Business School case study in how not to build an organization. I mean, I dropped out of my MBA program halfway through but even I can remember taking an Organizational Behavior course and, not that I need to text book to validate that an organization with that much turnover will not have stability, but I do have one. It’s the same text book I didn’t need to figure out that having a CEO reviewing film with the GM would create extra pressure for the already-pressurized head coach and would manifest in strained feelings, poor communication, and general dysfunction.
Wait a sec .. “Harvard Business School case study.” Where have I been hearing about Harvard in a Cleveland context lately? The Sashi Brown and John DePoesta hirings all proudly boasted of their Harvard credentials. A little over the top, I thought, because the tough part about Harvard and Ivies is getting in and having someone to pay for it. If anything, I viewed the Ivy education with a bit of stink eye since it’s highest probable that the holder of the degree, having been told how exceptional he is for some many years, believes himself uniquely gifted.
We’re not wrong, the market is wrong.
In short, it would take that special brand of Harvard elitism to believe that they’re not wrong when they refuse to pay and allow 40 years of locker room continuity to leave — the market which set the price is wrong; the coaches who speak of intangibles of locker room leadership and importance of “team” for a team sport are wrong.
They can’t be wrong because in case you forgot — Harvard.
It got me thinking — how deep does the Ivy fetishism go? Said another way — how deep is Jimmah’s insecurity in his own decision-making capability where he defaults to Harvard in the [vain] expectation that these elites will be smarter than other organizations?
It goes very deep.
I took a quick walk through the Browns’ front office roster and cross-referenced the names I could find in LinkedIn. Imma just gonna leave these here.
That’s five Harvards, a Chicago, a Princeton, a Columbia, and sure let’s count Scheiner’s two Georgetowns. All subscribe to the
Sloan Conference credo:
“Dedicated to making football team personnel assembly into a complex graduate-degree-level science to justify the clique and to head off critical review of our performance by the millions of football watchers who could do better than us with a dartboard.”
So wedded to his ‘Moneyball’ mystique is new hire DePodesta, that he actually is speaking at the Sloan Conference the three days into his first NFL free agency. We’ll credit him for commitment to his craft, regrettably his chosen craft is apparently ‘augmentation of my brand.’ Bummer Bill Simmons isn’t around to ballwash for you this year, eh Paul?
Ok fine, Jimmah wants Ivies. What’s my problem? What’s my problem other than I, with my [apparently] disqualifying state school degree (MiamiO), can not only apply enough analytics to determine that having short d-backs is a problem but am also able to extract myself from trendy big-data talking points enough to know successful teams develop continuity by re-signing performing players. My problem is that if a simple plebe like myself can figure out shit like this and that the Ivies can’t, maybe the problem is with the whole smartest-guys-in-the-room culture and it’s accompanying need to justify their legend.
Where do I start:
- Being in the thrall of name-brand diplomas severely restricts your talent pool.
- Further, I dispute the premise that any college diploma is needed to assemble a good football tam.
- There’s a special grotesquery with this front office in that 100% of them have attended a TED seminar on the subject of ‘thinking outside the box’… while they’re all from the same box.
- My guess is none of them are Browns fans.
- My guess is all them will leave Northeast Ohio as soon as the resume is sufficiently padded.
- After three years of the Scheiner brand diploma elitism, no corollary can be found to support the idea that it leads to better performance on the football field. In fact, the data suggest the opposite.
- Repeat — since we’re all into analytics now — the data indicate that more Ivy graduate degrees in a front office leads to a poorer football product.
- Not for nothing but the sport analytics program is at the other school a mile east of Harvard on the Charles… so you’re hiring from the wrong school. I mean if you want to do slavish devotion to an unproven psuedo-science… you best know the difference between Harvard and Kendall Square.
- Does elitism sell to Lorain or Mahoning or Cuyahoga counties?
I think nine is what pisses me off most. The message here to Cleveland people, to state school grads, and especially to you imbeciles working in trade with only your pathetic Medina Cloverleaf mortarboard tassel hanging from your seven year old F-150’s rear view mirror — you’re too stupid to understand what we’re doing here so…
Be quiet and respect your betters.
Post-script and on the subject respecting of your betters, it’s been three years since Jim Nantz said
“It’s been absolutely masterful the way Jimmy Haslam has constructed this.”
“…with all great respect, I think [Browns fans are the] best football fans in the country, [but] they don’t really know what they’re talking about with this hire.”